PVC Piping is pretty amazing stuff. When heat is applied the pipe can be bent and twisted into many shapes.
The Spa from trademe came with a assortment of pvc piping and fittings. A few of them were marked so I knew roughly what went where. I don’t know how the original spa was installed but I think the pump room must have been far away and below the spa because the pipes are all crazy angles.
Spa fittings can be expensive! A union – a join that can be unscrewed – will set you back about $30.
Because I’m installing the spa pump, filter and heater in a different place to the original spa I need to put together a different configuration of pvc pipes. Additionally I’m doing this on the cheap. This means salvaging the existing elbow joins and unions is a very good idea!
Salvaging an existing join from a pvc pipe isn’t ideal. It has already been bonded and may introduce imperfections into the new join causing leaks. I’m hoping this won’t happen to me.
After some internet research and my own trial and error I discovered the easiest way to remove the bonded pipe from a join.
You will need a heat gun, stanley knife and needle nose pliers.
- Cut the fitting off from the existing pipe. Leave about 7mm of pipe left jutting out of the fitting to grip with pliers.
- Using a heat gun heat up the pipe inside the fitting.
- It should take around 30 seconds, touch the pipe with pliers to see if it’s malleable.
- Using the stanley knife slice along the inside pipe. Make sure you cut all the way through. Heat it up with the heat gun if it doesn’t cut well.
- Using the needle nose pliers fold back one side of the cut you have made in the pipe.
- Once you have unpeeled one side of the pipe grip the free piece of pipe with the pliers and start rolling the pliers and pipe off the inside of the fitting.
- If at any stage the pipe becomes hard and brittle use the heat gun again to soften the pipe.
Try not to inhale the vapours coming off the hot PVC. Dioxin can be released which is highly toxic.
Using the same heat gun method a piece of pvc pipe can be made into a bow.
As you can see from the image I salvaged several fittings. There are a few more to salvage directly on the spa itself. When removing the spa they simply hacksawed all the pipes. Some also broke later. I’m going to be putting it all back together.